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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

Maryland Governor Proposes Exempting Military Pensions from Income Tax

  • February 18, 2015
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In an effort to make Maryland more welcoming to veterans, new Gov. Larry Hogan (R) wants to fully exempt military pensions from state income tax.
Currently the state exempts only the first $5,000 of military pensions from taxation. About 53,000 retirees in Maryland receive military pensions, which average $28,000 a year, reported the Baltimore Sun. “People who put their lives on the line every day kind of earned a tax break,” Hogan told reporters last week after addressing a crowd of veterans at an American Legion post. The governor acknowledged, however, that getting the General Assembly to approve his legislative proposal would be challenging …

Army Cuts Would Be Widespread under Sequestration, Odierno Says

  • February 16, 2015
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Few installations will be spared from further reductions in personnel if Congress and the White House fail to strike a deal to lift the Budget Control Act spending caps, Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, told reporters last week from the Navy port at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. “If [sequestration] continues, we’re going to have to reduce the size of the Army further,” he said, reported Stars and Stripes. “It would be across the entire Army, and just about every installation in every state would be affected.” The second round of restructuring the Army is now contemplating will shrink the service by at least 40,000 soldiers to an end strength of 450,000 by fiscal 2020. Officials are considering cuts that will slash the force by 70,000 soldiers, however; that larger reduction is expected if the statutory spending caps remain in place much longer …

North Carolina Governor to Create Military Affairs Department

  • February 16, 2015
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North Carolina will create a department of military and veterans affairs to improve services for active-duty personnel and veterans, as well as to promote the state’s military bases, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said during his State of the State address earlier this month. “At a time when so many servicemen and women are coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq through North Carolina, as I mentioned before, we must have an efficient and well-coordinated process in place to meet the needs of active-duty personnel and veterans,” McCrory said Feb. 4. “These services are right now scattered across many areas of state government with no accountability, causing delay, frustration, and sometimes poor customer service …

Wittman Places High Bar for New BRAC Round

  • February 11, 2015
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The Defense Department needs to make a stronger case to convince Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) that the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee should approve its request to hold a new round of base closures. Wittman, who chairs the readiness panel, wants answers from DOD on two different questions before he would consider authorizing another BRAC, reported the Daily Press. One is finding out where the department is spending too much money. He does not believe that spending cuts should be applied equally across the services. The other answer Wittman is looking for is an analysis of the potential savings from a new round over the next five years …

Pennsylvania Installations Share Concerns over Possible Downsizing

  • February 11, 2015
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The leaders of three installations in south central Pennsylvania met with local officials Wednesday to highlight the important role the facilities play in the region’s economy as well as in national security. Two of the installations — the Defense Logistics Agency’s Distribution Center Susquehanna and Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg — each employ more than 4,000 workers, most of whom are civilians. The Army War College and the Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle have 1,700 staff members. The War College hosts more than 400 students annually. But beyond demonstrating the installations are critical to the local economy, it’s important to show they are run efficiently and serve unique functions within the military …

Over 2,000 Turn out to Support Fort Riley at Listening Session

  • February 10, 2015
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State and local officials and members of Kansas’ congressional delegation addressed an overflow crowd of more than 2,000 residents in Junction City, Kan., on Monday during an Army listening session that provided attendees an opportunity to show their support for Fort Riley. The meeting allowed the Army a chance to gather input from Fort Riley’s neighbors before the service determines how it will shrink its end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. Fort Riley could lose a maximum of 16,000 personnel, primarily soldiers, through the end of this second round of restructuring. Speakers highlighted the multitude of partnerships between local institutions and the post, covering areas such as education and health care …

Military Generates $19.3B Impact in South Carolina

  • February 10, 2015
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South Carolina military installations contribute $19.3 billion to the state’s economy annually, according to a new study from the University of South Carolina. The three installations in Beaufort County — Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Naval Hospital Beaufort — generate $1.5 billion for the state and are responsible for nearly 13,000 jobs. “That’s a huge element of our local economy, no question about it,” said William Bethea, who leads the South Carolina Military Base Task Force …

Air Force Divestment Strategy Postpones Some Aircraft Retirements

  • February 9, 2015
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Force structure changes included in the Air Force’s fiscal 2016 budget request would affect installations in 17 states, with the largest impacts at bases with A-10 units, officials said last week. The FY 2016 budget would continue the strategy proposed last year by the Air Force to phase out a number of weapons systems, but will postpone the retirement of some systems by several years “to retain critical capability in the near term while positioning the service to support a leaner, more modern force in the future,” according to a press release. “We are investing in nuclear, space, ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance], the Guard and Reserve, and have discontinued our personnel downsizing programs,” said Secretary Deborah Lee James …

Anniston Officials Ponder Prospects for Depot in Next BRAC

  • February 9, 2015
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Although it’s still not clear when the Pentagon will hold another BRAC round, officials in northeastern Alabama would like to hold onto Anniston Army Depot, especially after losing Fort McClellan in an earlier round. The depot already is contending with a declining workload since the military’s drawdown from Iraq and Afghanistan. Five hundred workers lost their jobs in 2012, and last week 190 temporary workers were let go, reported the Anniston Star. Despite the drop in personnel, officials are confident the depot would survive the next round of base closures. Even in the absence of a large ground war, the facility is needed to refurbish weapons and equipment in peacetime, they say. Also, the Army needs to maintain a surge capacity in the event a war breaks out …

City, County Support Expansion of Tinker AFB for KC-46A Depot

  • February 8, 2015
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A ceremony last week at Tinker Air Force Base marked a collaboration among the Air Force, Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County to purchase a former rail yard on the west side of the installation for a depot maintenance facility for the military’s next-generation aerial refueling aircraft, the KC-46A Pegasus. Oklahoma City contributed $23.5 million, Oklahoma County $12.5 million and the Air Force $8 million to acquire the 158-acre site from BNSF Railway. The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, which needed a new site to accommodate KC-46A depot operations, selected the rail yard partially because it would allow the Air Force to link up property that was disconnected from the base …

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